You’ve heard it been said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s a great mantra, but after spending a full day driving my beautiful pup around Manitoba, taking pictures of her and sharing her unparalleled cuteness to the masses (all for “work purposes”), the quote’s a little too composed and concise for me. So today I’m debuting my new motto: Incorporate your unconditional love for your pet into your job, and you’ll forever be indebted to your employer for making you the happiest person in the world.
This post is all about exploring this wonderful province, and taking your pet along with you. And as you’ve probably gathered after getting through the intro, the potential for this thing to get off the rails is pretty high. Therefore, in an effort to keep things professional, this post will in effect be written by two different people: Travel Manitoba Joey, and Blubbering Dog Owner Joey.
Please note: There are SO many different Instagram-worthy spots in Manitoba to grab that perfect pet picture, but we tried to hit up as many in just one day as possible. Chances are we may have missed your favourite spot on our Dog Crawl, so make sure to let us know where we should head to next time!
Before we begin, let’s meet our exciting protagonist:
Breed: Terrier Mix
Age: Approximately 5-years-old
Attributes: Big booty, cutest ears you’ve ever seen, needs haircut
Hobbies: Being a good girl, treats, sleeping
Dislikes: Other dogs, when you stop petting her
Souris Swinging Bridge
Travel Manitoba Joey: Clocking in at 184m long, the Souris Swinging Bridge is the longest swinging suspension bridge in Canada. As one of the central landmarks of Souris, it’s the most well-photographed spot in this charming town. Catch a sunrise on one side or sunset on the other, or in my case, use one of the year’s first snowfalls for a lovely bright wintery background.
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: After taking a few steps on the bridge, it’s hard not to be taken aback by how significantly you can actually feel the bridge swaying underneath you. Was I a little scared? Yes. But my courageous and strong little Lady marched on, determined to show the people the beautiful sight ahead. The only problem here is that the beautiful bridge may be overshadowed by how adorable my dog looks with snow in her beard.
Ominik Marsh Trail, Riding Mountain National Park
Travel Manitoba Joey: Just a short five minute walk outside the town of Wasagaming, the Ominnik Marsh Trail is an easy, well-maintained, and visually stunning hike that’s a perfect place for your next furry photoshoot. The wooden boardwalks provide beautiful lines and symmetrical features to help bring to focus the beauty of your pet and the live ecosystem surrounding it.
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: Wasagaming holds a very special place in my heart, as it's a place my family and I travelled to every single year growing up. Every time I step foot in Riding Mountain National Park I think of family. And to bring my pup Lady, one of the most special family members of them all, along with me this time around…oh dear, I need to take a break. Let’s just say, last time I was on this trail I saw a beaver - this time around, I saw an angel.
oTENTiks, Riding Mountain National Park
Travel Manitoba Joey: For a special bonus stop at Riding Mountain National Park, we wanted to show you one of the most unique places to camp in Manitoba: the oTENTiks! It’s the perfect mix between camping and cabin, with some of the units open all-year round. This one in particular, Unit 709, is not only winterized with a fireplace and a heater, but it’s also pet-friendly!
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: For full winter entertainment, leave your board games at home and spend the day watching your pup shove their full faces into the snow as they’re completely overwhelmed with the thousand different scents at play in Riding Mountain National Park.
Minnedosa Museum & Heritage Village
Travel Manitoba Joey: The grounds of the Heritage Village in Minnedosa are a one-stop shop for a full Instagram story of your pet experiencing what life was like 500 dog years ago. The museum’s only open in the summer, but you can still walk through the village and get your puppy pics next to the blacksmith shop, the 100-year-old Havelock School, the octagon-shaped agricultural display building, and more. They’ve also got log cabins, water wheels, and a swinging bridge of their own, all located within a short 5-minute walk of each other.
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: I just calculated how old Lady is in dog years, and I’m going to need a few minutes to process this. They grow up so fast…
Happy Rock, Gladstone
Travel Manitoba Joey: Stopping at Gladstone’s famous Happy Rock is a must when heading down Highway 16 on a road trip. Park your car, snap a picture, and let your pet take a much needed stretch and bathroom break.
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: When a Happy Dog meets a Happy Rock, you better believe there’s a Happy Dad crying behind the camera. Stay tuned for my next blog post: Top 10 Photos of Lady Licking Her Nose.
Travel Manitoba Joey: A trip to Gimli isn’t complete without a stroll down the boardwalk. Right next to the beach and overlooking the pier, there’s so many different angles to capture your pet picture. My favourite part is the Gimli Seawall Gallery, complete with 72 different murals painted by community members from the Gimli Art Club. On this day, it may have been a tad windy. But clearly Lady knows the importance of “doing it for the gram.”
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: Here is a picture of a beautiful piece of art…in front of some very pretty murals.
Gimli Viking Statue
Travel Manitoba Joey: Complete your Gimli experience with a quick history lesson next to their massive 15-foot-tall Viking Statue. Gimli’s Icelandic roots are painted all over the town, and a picture right next to this guy will help show your pet that it’s a big world out there!
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: The Vikings may have been fierce warriors, but even they would be scared of the look Lady gives you when it’s been 10 hours without a walk.
Travel Manitoba Joey: Winnipeg Beach is a lovely community with plenty of photo spots to stop and take a picture (AND it has a dog-friendly beach). I’m a sucker for a water tower, and Winnipeg Beach has a great one. Black and bold with a nice font, the water tower is a perfect backdrop if you can get the shot right.
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: I want to take this opportunity to say that Lady sat in a car for about 12 hours, sat politely for every picture, and only complained when a couple other dogs wanted to steal her spotlight and take photos with her. She is such a good girl, and I’m so proud of her maturity, patience, and poise.
Oak Hammock Marsh
Travel Manitoba Joey: With over 30km of walking routes made up of wooden boardwalks, gravel paths, and grass trails, Oak Hammock Marsh isn’t just a great place to take your pet for a photo, it’s also a great place to take them for a walk. Just 20km outside of Winnipeg, it’s the perfect excursion to get out of the house and out into nature. With so many things to sniff and paw prints to make, your pet will surely appreciate the trip, and your followers will be hot on that “like” button.
Blubbering Dog Owner Joey: Hold on, can we run back that last picture and enhance? It looks like Lady’s trying to tell us something…
True story: I did actually run out of treats at this point of the trip, and this literally was the face she made back at me.
I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know my dog Lady - I’ll try to stop the fame from getting to her cute little head. And remember: There’s a lot of great places to go and take pictures in Manitoba - just don’t forget to bring your pet!